Window Cleaning Issues - Canvassing, pole systems, pricing, problems, etc.

Ladders & health & safety (+ humorous anec
Posted by Ian_Giles (Ian_Giles), 27 March 2004
Well it had to happen eventually didn't it? My father, who is now retired, owns a building company, after I had told him of the fact that if you do not have someone footing your ladder, you can be liable for prosecution and a fine of up to £5000! He told me it didn't surprise him, his Company are doing a large job at a local school and apparently on new buildings, roofers are no longer allowed to use ladders to get onto the roof! It's too dangerous apparently Undecided
They have to use lifts or hoists of one description or another.

Depressing isn't it?

On thinking of how many men it should take to extend and take down an extension ladder for it to be a safe risk free operation gave me pause for thought...

It is obvious of course that you must by health and safety laws have someone footing the ladder whist you are working atop it, but first you have to get it extended.
Up till now I have always done this completely by myself, but I have been blind to the horrible risk of accident or injury to myself or others.
Now we all know that while you have two feet on the ground it is quite safe to lift and extend said ladder to arms length above your head, but there then comes the point when you must start to climb up the ladder to continue extending it, and the higher you go, the more fraught with danger it becomes.
Obviously you need someone stood at the base footing the ladder, but this will still leave you precariously lifting or bouncing the ladder of the wall to enable you to further extend it.
Can you imagine the carnage should you lift it too far or lose control as you bounce it? Apart from the physical risk of injury to yourself, you are almost certainly putting the guy footing the ladder for you at grave risk of injury also, and what of members of the public within a possible radius of whatever height the ladder is? Doesn't the thought of this just make you shudder with horror?
So for safety's sake you also need a third man to stand under the ladder to carefully lift it from the wall to enable you to safely extend said ladder.
Are you aware of how dangerous it actually is to simply climb a ladder? I am no longer sure if anyone should ever consider using a ladder where the rungs are wet, missing your footing when the ladder is dry is something that will have happened to many of us, but when the conditions are wet the risks are magnified ten fold!
Obviously we should always wear a safety harness as we climb our ladders, clipping it onto the ladder as we climb so that should we fall we shall not plunge to the ground possibly killing ourselves, or worse, hurting someone else as they break our fall.
But to counter the risk of falling as we unclip and re-clip our harness, there needs to be a pulley at the top of the ladder with a rope attached to you. As you climb, you will of course need someone at the bottom of the ladder taking the strain.

Your ladder should of course also be clipped to the wall beneath the window to eyelets. This will of course prevent the ladder sliding sidewise and causing carnage to those clustered below helping you extend your ladder.

Come to think of it, you should also rope off the ground below to the eventual radius of the fully extended height of the ladder.
We should not in this case forget those with partial sight, so someone is also needed either side to inform the public that a dangerous operation is in progress and to guide them safely around the potential hazard.
All involved will of course have had to undergo rigorous training and to have at least yearly, stamped certification as proof of this.

So, in closing……er, that is a total of yourself (1), the ladder footer (2), the ladder bracer (3) man on pulley (4) and the two guides for the public (6)

This of course would probably only be the minimum required.

Hope that some of you have at least smiled at my tongue in cheek posting, and yes, I know that you can get ladders that you can extend with ropes and pulleys, they are a nightmare! (well, some of them are!)


Posted by replacement (Justin R), 27 March 2004

The way forward??
Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 27 March 2004
(off topic, sorry)

Hi Justin, What size pole are you using in the picture Huh
Posted by replacement (Justin R), 27 March 2004
Hi Steve,
             4 sections, fully extended 24ft. Looking at an carbon fibe pole but not sure what one and if it goes with the connections on my omintrolley.

Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 27 March 2004
We are using carbon fibre poles from ionic. They are very rigid and solidly made. They are in 6 x 4ft sections.

Can you seperate the sections that you don't need or does the pole have to be kept as 4 piece? Do you find the 6ft sections easy enough to extend and adjust  Huh
Posted by replacement (Justin R), 27 March 2004
   I can take the pole to bits have have 4 working 6ft poles if i wish, can also take sections out with so i could have say 2x 12 ft poles or 1 x 6ft and 1 x 18 ft. As for extending them and adjusting them i have only ever used this pole so i could never say. Only time its a pain is when fully extended and taking it down, but thats most probarly with all poles.

Posted by Silly_Philly (Philip Hanson), 27 March 2004
Steve, Ionics poles can also be taken apart and only certain sections used.  It involves removing the guides (that stop the pole extending too far).  Once that is done the extra wider sections can be slid on only when needed.

I have done this with my 30ft pole.  If you need to know how to do this, let me know.  Its quite straight forward.

Posted by sw_windows (sw_windows), 27 March 2004
to Justin R,
                 Do you sell wfp systems for a living,or are you a window cleaner? Or maybe, do you do both?
Posted by replacement (Justin R), 27 March 2004
I am an window cleaner nothing else. I dont sell them and dont intend to. I am rather new at window cleaning and started with a WFP system as i belive this the way forward.

I just give advice and what expericnce i have with them which is very little. These forums and others gave alot to me when i started and i like giving information back. You only got to read my posts on this forum and others to realise that i dont sell them.


Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 27 March 2004
on 03/27/04 at 19:58:17, Philip Hanson wrote:
Steve, Ionics poles can also be taken apart and only certain sections used.  It involves removing the guides (that stop the pole extending too far).  Once that is done the extra wider sections can be slid on only when needed.

I have done this with my 30ft pole.  If you need to know how to do this, let me know.  Its quite straight forward.


Hi Phil, yes I would like to know how to do this. I am worried about destroying my pole if I just start pulling it apart Wink

Posted by Silly_Philly (Philip Hanson), 27 March 2004
Ok. The pole sections are prevented from extending too far by small wrap-around plastic pieces called guides.  They wrap around the bottom of each section, and have notches that clip into holes drilled in the tube.  Simply clip them off.

To get to them, you need to remove the clamp:

These clamps are held in place by two bolts.  The top bolt (which is reverse threaded) has the lever attached, and can be loosened just by raising the lever.  You do not need to remove this bolt, only loosen by raising the lever

The bottom bolt holds the clamp to the pole section.  If you look closely, you will see that this bolt goes through a small black cylinder shaped piece- this cylinder fits into a hole drilled at the top of the section, holding the clamp in place.  Use an allen key and a pair of pliers to completely remove this bolt.  It is a tight fit, so you need to use some force.

Once this bolt is off, and the cylinder piece has been removed, the clamp slides off the pole section, and the thinner section can be completely removed.  You will see the guides (there will be 2 about 3 inches apart from each other) clipped to the bottom of this thinnest section.  Simply unclip them.

Now when you re-attach the clamp, this section can be completely removed and used on its own.

That sounded really complicated, so here it is step by step:

1: Raise the clamp lever and extend the section as far as it will go.

2: Using an allen Key and pliers, remove the lower bolt of the clamp, and slide out the black cylinder piece between the clamp's jaws

3: Slide the clamp off the larger section

4: Extend the thinnest pole section right out, and unclip the two plastic guides

5: Re-attach the clamp by slotting the cylinder back in the notch and replacing the bolt.

Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 28 March 2004
Thanks Phil, What a detailed description. Even I should be able to do it. I would need a butt ring for each section. Where did you manage to source them  Huh

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